Behind the Cover 1.3
One day Walton hits me up and tells me he has a Jax spot in mind that we should hit up. He’s telling me about the spot and I instantly think of wild man Hooker front lipping up this same incline ledge that Walton wants to shred. He tells me if I back lip up it the photo would definitely be mag worthy, and let me tell you, I’ve been wanting to get in the Wakeskate Mag.
A week or so later Walton, Tad and Hannah roll up to Jax to meet up with my brother Tom and I. After eating some fire fish tacos and meeting up with Ben [Horan], we ventured to the ledge. We rolled up and were greeted by another face I love to see, Tyler Mangus. We got to work right away. Walton and I were cleaning up the ledge, getting rocks and everything out of the way when he looks at me and asks if I’m gonna boardslide it first. I was like, “Fuck it, back lip.” I get to walking the handle out, definitely a little nervous looking at that thing but I knew I had it. First pull I felt I was going a bit too slow and didn’t go for it. I told Kyle to bump the speed up. Second pull I stuck it, but knew I could do it better. After a few more I was getting to the top and was content and pretty stoked on it, so we called it quits.
Thank you Kyle Walton, Tad Mathews, and Dave Hanson for giving me the cover! I haven’t smiled this much in a while.
During the process of putting together our mags, Kyle and myself like to run down “the list” everyday to keep busy and make sure the production is going smoothly. For Issue 1.3, every time we finished running down the list, I would say to him, “We still don’t have a cover.” Most of the time he kind of brushed it off, but as the deadline drew near, I think it hit him that we needed to figure this out soon. “We’re going to Jax. We’re going to make Trav and Tyler hit the black ledge, and you’re gonna shoot it for the cover.” He was 100% confident it was going to work. And whenever Kyle gets the fire in his eye, you have no choice but to just roll with it.
On a cold day in Florida we hit the road. We ended up having a pretty legit crew consisting of Kyle, Hannah, Trav, Tom, Ben and Tyler. When we rolled up to the spot it looked like Jurassic Park, everything was completely overgrown and the ledge was barely visible. Without hesitation everyone got to work, cleaning up the ledge, clearing out the landing, and setting up the winch and photo equipment.
I’ve been to the spot once before filming for More Than Machines, so I had already mapped out a couple spots to shoot from. Trav and I both hopped in the water barebacked, freezing our asses off, blocked from any sign of sunlight. Trav is a wild man and just went for it, no warm ups. The first couple pulls he was just feeling it and popping out a little early, cruising right by me with a smile on his face.
As he’s walking the rope out I look at him and say, “You can get to the top for sure.” He looks back determined and says, “Alright I got this right here.” Next pull Trav is locked in for the long haul, picking up speed as he gets to the peak, and before I knew it he was airborne flying straight towards me. He locked into a few like that and after every hit I had to truck towards the wall just in time for him to spray the shit out of me with a slab of melted ice.
The photo we used was actually from one of his first good back lips, but I stuck it out for a handful more before getting out of the frigid waters. I couldn’t be more stoked on me and Trav’s first cover and it couldn’t have been a better trick. And Kyle fucking called it, you guys are both wild! Thanks to Trav and everyone who helped out that day, it was so fun.